Looking ahead: Building a sustainable future
The InvestHedge Forum, on 13-14 September at the British Museum in London, promises to take alternative thinking and investing to a new level.
Larry Powell, deputy chief investment officer of the Utah Retirement Systems, is the latest big name to join a line-up of top speakers taking shape for this year's InvestHedge Forum, held in association with EuroHedge, which will take place on 13 and 14 September, once again in the fabulous setting of the British Museum in London's Bloomsbury district.
Salt Lake City-based Powell, who has been a highly influential figure in the ongoing debate about hedge fund investment terms during the post-financial crisis era, is expected to speak at the Forum about hedge fund frauds – and how his own hedge fund background has helped him to dodge the bullets and avoid them.
A major theme for this year's event will be sustainability – and in particular about how both hedge funds and their investors are looking to find the best way ahead in terms of products, people and performance to build long-lasting sustainable businesses.
This year's discussions will revolve all around sustainability: sustainability of business models; sustainability of performance; and sustainability of investment talent. Hence, in one major session, Mandy Mannix of CQS, Jon Little of Northill Capital and Henry Kenner of Arrowgrass will be part of a panel designed to discuss the issues around people, process and succession planning.
As usual with the InvestHedge Forum, much of the agenda will focus on issues of interest primarily to investors. Hence, as in previous years, the conference will open with a panel focusing on the perspectives of major end-investors and allocators, featuring Simon Ruddick of Albourne Partners to discuss what investors want and how hedge funds can be used to help them.
Another major session will feature Ted Malloch, who heads up the spiritual capitalism initiative at Yale University, as well as Colin Melvin of Hermes Equity Ownership Services and Storebrand's Jan Erik Saugestad, who will discuss whether socially responsible investing and alpha can indeed co-exist.
And a major extended session at the end of the event – featuring Omar Kodmani of Permal, Damian Loveday of Towers Watson, Alex Kamunya of NEPC and Stephen Oxley of PAAMCO – as well as Larry Powell of Utah, who will return to the stage to participate – will discuss whether consultants and funds of funds can co-exist harmoniously, or whether they must inevitably compete.
But key debating points for hedge fund strategies will also feature. Issues in the global macro environment and how it affects investors' portfolios will be discussed on the morning of the second day by a panel including Steven Bell of GLC, Teun Draaisma of TT International and Nick Hansen of Aros Capital. The key issue of capital raising in this tougher, post-crisis environment will also be discussed by another panel featuring Alexandre Col of Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild.
And this year's hedge fund keynote speaker will be Nicolas Rohatyn, head of The Rohatyn Group (TRG), a New York-based firm focused exclusively on emerging markets, arguably the hottest investment topic du jour. Rohatyn's 19-year career, spanning emerging markets, currencies, commodities and credit, will give an insight into how to make the most of alpha and beta in some of the world's most exciting and volatile markets.
For the first time, this year's event will feature keynote contributions from two major end-investors – the other being Kathryn Graham, a director of BT Pension Scheme Management, the pensions advisory arm of the BT Pension Scheme (the largest in the UK at $56 billion), who will be discussing issues such as why and how the hedge fund industry needs to look more like a proper business.
And a fourth keynote will be given by Dr Howard Rossman, chairman and founder of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, a $13.6 billion fund of hedge funds, who will be talking about the psychology of success and how to pick a winner.
As with all HedgeFund Intelligence events, the quality of the programme and the speakers will be enhanced by ample time also set aside for networking and informal discussion, including a cocktail evening to be held again alongside The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery on 13 September. There will also be a state-of-the-art exhibition showcasing many of the latest services, systems and tools available to investors and managers.
Over 350 delegates are expected to attend from both the hedge fund and investor communities, including 30 end-investors who have already registered. We look forward to seeing you there.
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